Us The Duo No Matter Where You Are Book of Life

Carissa & Michael in Book of Life →

Yahoo! Music:

Husband-and-wife musical team Us The Duo has a unique history in that they hold the distinction of being the first artists signed to a major label from Vine. The pair's series of 6-second musical covers and arrangements won them millions of fans, as well as a deal with Republic Records.

Now, here's yet another unique item for their resumes: Their single “No Matter Where You Are” is now being featured in the animated film The Book of Life, which opens in theaters October 17. The song is special to the pair as it was originally written as vows to their own wedding!

Carissa & Michael Alvarado Billboard Magazine

Carissa & Michael to Tour with Oprah →

After Oprah Winfrey saw Fox's upcoming animated feature The Book of Life, she became so enthralled by the end-credits song that she had the act booked for the U.S. tour of her "The Life You Want Weekend."

Us the Duo, the first musical act to become established via Vine, will be the featured musical act during the Oprah tour, which starts Friday in Atlanta and wraps Nov. 14-15 in San Jose, Calif. [...]

"Oprah fell in love with the movie and she heard about us, the song 'No Matter Where You Are' and our story," says Michael Alvarado, who shares the stage with his wife Carissa. "The team was really excited to pitch her the idea of bringing us on the tour and it became another beautiful marriage of missions colliding." [...]

"Once we met the team and they heard our story, they were taken aback by how much our story was like the story in the movie -- follow your passion, follow your heart," Carissa said. "It's a dream come true to have a song in a move, so surreal to see it all happening."

Congrats, guys!

Carissa & Michael Sign with Major Label →

Their unique technique also helped boost re-Vines: filming only half their faces to focus on harmonies over looks (nevermind that they're an impossibly adorable couple.) Though it's become their trade mark, Carissa insists it was born out of necessity. "I wasn't wearing makeup one night, and Michael wanted to film a video and I was like, 'No I'm tired and I'm in my pajamas,'" she recalls. "We'd had a Vine account, but we never really too active on it. We tried to post funny Vines, but we're not comedians, so it didn't go over too well. But the six-second cover thing seemed to really take off and people seemed to like it." x

By mid-December, a take on The Neighbourhood's "Sweater Weather"

Carissa & Michael on Business Insider →

Business Insider:

YouTube has always been filled with covers of songs. In fact, there are a few household celebrity names we know today who got their start on YouTube (like Justin Bieber).

Then there's Vine, which only allows you to cap a measly 7 seconds of footage before it goes into a looping stream. It may not seem like the most obvious platform for budding musicians to showcase their work.

But it worked for the Alvarados, who go by UsTheDuo on Vine.

Michael and Carrisa Alvarado have amassed over 1.5 million followers on Vine, where they post 7-second clips of a cappella versions of songs we all know.

The Best of The #SantaHat Tradition

My Last #SantaHat Season

I seriously have no idea how I pulled these off:

  • 2008 - 79 santa hats
  • 2009 - 190
  • 2010 - 446
  • 2011 - 532
  • 2012 - 669
  • 2013 - 706

That makes six epic seasons of staying up late for 3-4 weeks, looking back at old photos, revisiting good times and photoshopping santa hats, fake snow, and even ugly Christmas sweaters on all you guys. Then over the course of a week, I get the pleasure of watching my newsfeed turn into a joyful stream of Christmas red and white.

By far, my favorite part is getting flooded with notifications not just from you guys but from your friends. When I see your friends getting into the Christmas spirit, my heart does a fist pump and I know I did my job.

These past six holidays seasons have been a BLAST. I can't help but smile when I look at each and every one of those pictures in that epic collage of my best Santa Hats.

But alas, with all of the changes going on in my life, I feel like the universe is telling me it's time to focus on other real world things; specifically, my career.

This year was by far the hardest. I honestly didn't think I'd come close to last year's 669 santa hats because I didn't pick up steam until five days after launch. My new job (which I love and plan to keep for a very long time) just gets so hectic around the holidays, there is simply no way for me to keep this going.

As epic as it has been, this indeed is the final #SantaHat least from me. I know other people on other parts of the internet have been doing the same thing for years and they'll continue to do it after me.

I just wanted to say thank you to all you guys. Thank you for all the good times, being a part of my life, and being part of the tradition these past few years. The end of the #SantaHat Tradition is definitely the end of an era...but we sure made it kick ass while it lasted.

Wishing you all a whole lot of love, a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year. <3


p.s. For my newer friends, here's a throwback post of the story behind the tradition: The #SantaHat Tradition: What It Means to Me